Books I Read in September 2013

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

As a mother, this was a really tough book to read. From the Amazon description: 

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

So, you can assume where the story goes from there. I was surprised at how things unfolded and could see how this would be a FABULOUS book club pick: there's lots to debate. I still don't know who I sympathized with more and who might have been morally right. Very thought provoking and beautiful imagery to boot.

The Engagements

The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan

I really enjoy novels that weave together seemingly unrelated plots; Beautiful Ruins is a favorite.  Yet the 'reveal' in The Engagements of how each character's story related to the others took WAY too long for me to care. And I really only empathized with one story line (Evelyn's) and the very real story of Mary Frances Gerety who coined the tag line "A Diamond is Forever" during her years at Ayer advertising. The other main characters were either pissing away their lives or annoyingly self-righteous.

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Strayed's writing is, without a doubt, gorgeous and almost like therapy.  I also concur with all of her assessments and her outlook on the things in life that cause us heartbreak help us to learn, to become stronger and to become the people we are meant to be. Although, I wish I had read the column from week to week on the Rumpus, as each one began to seem repetitive. I found myself skimming what I knew her response would be as far as advice and voraciously reading her own personal anecdotes/stories, which she writes so compellingly.

The Shining Girls

The Shining Girls by Luren Beukes

Whoa.  This was a crazy suspenseful, mind blowing read.  I also thoroughly enjoyed the fact that it's centered around Chicago and the historical fiction aspect of the book.  It reminded me of another beautiful ode to Chicago novel: The Time Travelers Wife, but with a serial killer instead of a man in love.  A bit on the gory side, so I've gotta go and read something really fluffy now...


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